Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne

FOR THE WEEK OF April 26, 1999

DEAR JERRY: If I have a 'Hound Dog' expression it's because I've been up 'In the Still of the Nite' 'Wondering' about a song. 'Yesterday' me and some 'Friends' were discussing some of 'The Old Songs', when I brought up one that I remember from my teen years (late '50s).

It has a girl asking a guy, whose name I think is Sydney, questions like: “Why do we have to walk through a subway tunnel,” etc. No matter what her question, his answer is always “Shut up and keep walking.”

I've tried and tried to come up with the name of the song, but I give up. Any ideas?
—Al, via the Net.

DEAR AL: You are on the right track (subway, that is), though there is no Sydney in this musical adventure. The determined fellow marching underground is named Ambrose.

Thus, the title is “Ambrose (Part 5).” Ambrose's willing but curious hiking mate is Linda Laurie, the credited artist. This late 1958 recording made the Top 60 in early '59 (Glory 290).

Don't read anything into the “Part 5” reference. It means nothing and there are no earlier Parts.

Besides the Linda Laurie original of “Ambrose (Part 5),” Glory hedged their bet by releasing an instrumental of “Just Keep Walking (Ambrose)” on Glory 292, just two numbers later, by the Hal McKusick Quartet.

At the same time, guitarist Jimmy Valentine put out a marvelous version of “Just Keep Walking (Ambrose),” which didn't chart” but received considerable air play, as did its flip side, “Rockin' Hula” (Cub 9024). “Just Keep Walking (Ambrose)” does have Ambrose occasionally saying “Just Keep Walking.”

Linda's sequel to “Ambrose (Part 5),” a 1959 issue, is titled “Forever Ambrose” (Glory 294). In this adventure, Laurie and Ambrose are cuddled up — not in a subway — discussing such timely topics as her family's shame over not owning a color television.

DEAR JERRY: I have been searching desperately for someone who can verify that a song I often think of is not a figment of my imagination.

In the early '60's in the Oklahoma City area, I recall a song called, I think, “Endless Sleep.” I was very young then and cannot recall many of the words, but I think the guy saved his girl from committing suicide (“I saved my baby from an endless sleep,” etc.)

Was there such a song or am I imagining it ?
—Ravis E. Stotts, Tacoma, WA

DEAR RAVIS: The desperate search has ended. In the summer of 1958, “Endless Sleep,” by Jody Reynolds (Demon 1507) made the nation's Top 5, which means folks everywhere heard it, not just in Oklahoma.

As clearly as you can still hear the words to “Endless Sleep,” you may also recall the haunting and distinctive lead guitar artistry of Al “Surfin' Hootenanny” Casey.

IZ ZAT SO? Brooklyn-born Linda Laurie, who's only hit was “Ambrose (Part 5),” turned out to be a prolific songwriter. Besides her “Ambrose” novelties, she penned “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress); I Love What You Did with the Love I Gave You; You Got It; When You Find Out Where You're Going, Let Me Know; Life Is a Trippy Thing; Who Knows;” and “Burn Your Bridges Behind You.”

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